• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'Antony and Cleopatra share a rich and distinctive vocabulary'. Referring to at least 2 passages, examine some of the poetic and dramatic qualities of the language they use.

Extracts from this document...


'Antony and Cleopatra share a rich and distinctive vocabulary' Referring to at least 2 passages, examine some of the poetic and dramatic qualities of the language they use In act 1 scene 1, Philo begins by complaining to Demetrius that Cleopatra has transformed Antony from a great general to a whore's fool. The scene is based on the true love affair and the romance between the two characters. However there is an ambiguous nature to the passage, as we are not given a clear indication of Cleopatra's feelings, whether she is angry or whether it is all light hearted. The scene begins with Antony and Cleopatra entering, with great drama as Cleopatra has Eunuchs fanning her and attending her every need. Cleopatra is pushing Antony to describe how much he loves her and this shows her power and demand for the declaration of Antony's love. 'If it be love indeed, tell me how much.' Antony however is calmer and softer in his language. He uses natural imagery by comparing his love for her to the 'new heaven, new earth.' This shows that Cleopatra is more dramatic and that Anthony is more poetic in his choice of language. A messenger then comes from Octavius, but Antony, clearly annoyed, commands the messenger to be brief. ...read more.


She is worried that Antony does not love her in the same way that he does not love Fulvia, even though he has married her. Although her language is very dramatic it can be seen that she is insecure and that she is a very indefinite character. Her playful and light-hearted language is often used against Antony and in this way Cleopatra is given the control of the situation, as she is able to manipulate Antony through expressing her emotions. Cleopatra is represented in many different ways through her speech, for example she is seen as mocking and taunting, fond and affectionate, as well as hostile and angry. Through Antony's dialect it can be seen that Egypt is influencing him in many ways. His language is changing and his responsibilities have all altered. The use of the verb 'wrangling' by Antony shows his exasperation towards his lover, however he is soon to revert back to his romantic language by saying 'to chide, to laugh, to weep'. Again we see his lighthearted manner and his love towards Cleopatra, despite her attempts to anger him. He praises her qualities with tentative nouns. 'Come, my queen,' Depicting his true love and admiration for her again using the possessive pronoun 'my', as well as referring to her as the 'queen'. ...read more.


It can be seen throughout the play that this is a common theme. Mystical imagery is used throughout to describe Cleopatra and also Egypt. She is also compared to light, when Antony says, 'O thou day' suggesting that Antony sees her as his only hope and his light through the war. This is similar to the nature of the language used by Cleopatra. 'Lord of Lords' 'O infinite virtue' This shows connotations of religion and godlike imagery. They also show her timeless love and admiration for him, as shown in Act 1 Scene 1 by Antony. He is showing that his love for her is eternal and that it will last forever. 'There's not a minute of our lives should stretch Without some pleasure now' The bird like imagery used by Antony to describe Cleopatra is very powerful and depicts her beauty and elegance as he describes her as a 'my nightingale'. Antony also makes many connections between life and on earth and life in heaven. He suggests that Cleopatra is beyond the gods and praises her to the fullest with descriptive and grand language and choice of vocabulary. In conclusion it can be seen that both characters have dramatised language, which is imaginative and striking. The vocabulary of Cleopatra is passionate, comprising of the Egyptian culture. Antony's language is poetic and romantic, showing his true love for Cleopatra. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Antony and Cleopatra section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Antony and Cleopatra essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Explore the ways Shakespeare presents the concept of authority in Antony and Cleopatra

    4 star(s)

    Speak no more." Here Shakespeare has Antony using imperatives to enforce his authority, Enobarbus takes the point on board but is still sarcastic in his reply: "That truth should be silent, I had almost forgot." This a bit cheeky for just any soldier but he seems to get away with

  2. Peer reviewed

    'Ruthless leader....loving brother....boring Puritan....gracious victor.' Explore the way in which Shakespeare presents the character ...

    Caesar requires and wishes for formalities when even performing simple tasks such as walking down a street. Cleopatra however has different ideas, and is rather more informal. Enobarbus tells the audience how he 'saw her once Hop forty paces through the public street.'

  1. Antony and Cleopatra - language and characters

    Also, the imperative nouns she uses shows she feels she is superior as Queen and extremely important, and it also portrays how demanding as a character she is. Pronouns such as 'I' and 'her' are used frequently by Cleopatra which gives a tense, sarcastic feel as it is monosyllabic and

  2. An exploration of Shakespeare's use of imagery in 'Antony and Cleopatra'

    This is ironic because it is the bite of an asp that kills Cleopatra. Asps are the snakes of Nile and this symbolises how it is in fact Egypt and the need for Egyptians to indulge which kills her; also the cultural difference of Rome and Egypt that separate Antony and Cleopatra.

  1. How does Anthony and Cleopatra present the contrast between the conquering west and the ...

    Shakespeare thus extracts from his source the sections that he feels would engage the interest of his audience. However, Shakespeare also misses out many detailed ideas of Plutarch's text that he feels do not fit in with the viewpoint he intends to offer the audience.

  2. Essentially Antony and Cleopatra is a story of power politics; its theme is not ...

    Ventidius is loath to achieve any further success as, paradoxically, in achieving more, he will jeopardise his position. The Romans see themselves as a noble race that places its commitments to Rome above anything else. This is, however, clearly untrue. Ventidius places his own career ahead of the Roman Empire.

  1. Free essay

    Antony and Cleopatra

    Cleopatra utilises her sexuality and charisma to elevate herself over the other men and women within the play. The unapologetic openness of Cleopatra's sexuality stands to threaten the Romans, however they are equally obsessed with the power of Octavia's sexuality.

  2. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra

    In act 1, scene 3 the Queen reveals herself to be an actress of formidable range, feigning illness, turning Antony's words against him, taunting and perversely misbelieving him, while making false accusations to her own advantage. Her intentions in this scene are clear, telling Charmian that if she 'should find

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work